How to Know when Your Computer Battery is Dead

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

All personal computers have a small battery on the motherboard that provides power to the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) chip, hence the name CMOS battery. The chip has the information about all the system's configuration, such as the hard disk, date and time, etc. It provides power even when the computer is off and allows the CMOS to save all the settings [source: Indiana University]. You can expect the CMOS battery to last for up to five years. The more your computer is used, the longer the battery will last. How do you know that your CMOS battery is dying? Here are some tell-tale signs that your battery is dying:

  • Invalid configuration will appear on your screen.
  • Run Setup appears on your screen.
  • Press F1 to continue appears on your screen.
  • Invalid drive specification appears on the screen after you've pressed F1.
  • Clock Error or Clock Message appears on your screen.
  • The clock on the computer loses time.
  • The computer is constantly showing the wrong date.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, it's time to change the battery in your computer. If you don't change the battery, the battery will die. Your battery is dead when your screen is blank and you have thus lost your CMOS memory [source: Smart Computing].

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Computer Battery Dead FAQ

Why is my laptop plugged in and not charging?
If your laptop is plugged in and not charging, then the battery might be the culprit. Remove the battery and see if you find any problems with it.
Can you still use a laptop with a dead battery?
If the battery on your laptop has failed, you can still use it as a normal computer. All you need to do is use the laptop when it is plugged in to a socket.
Can you fix a dead laptop battery?
Unfortunately there is no possible way for you to fix a dead lithium battery on your laptop. While you cannot restore or fix these batteries, you can extend their life through good care.
How long can a laptop work without a battery?
The average backup charging time of a laptop is from 4 to 6 hours. However, some new models and higher end laptops can provide even 12 hours of backup charging. In any case, make sure the battery is well charged at all times.
Should I remove the battery from my laptop when not it’s in use?
The battery for your laptop should always stay inside the device and should never be removed. The only reason to remove the battery is when you are performing a hard reset on your system.

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